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Amgen first-quarter earnings up 14 percent to $1.2B

By   /   Wednesday, April 21st, 2010  /   Comments Off on Amgen first-quarter earnings up 14 percent to $1.2B

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Thousand Oaks-based biotech giant earned $1.2 billion in the first quarter of the year – an increase of 14 percent over earnings of $1 billion in the first quarter a year ago. It saw revenues from several of its key moneymaker drugs increase, and said it remains optimistic about a new drug in the pipeline.

Amgen shareholders earned $1.18 per share for the first quarter, up from 98 cents per share in the first quarter of 2009.

The firm’s quarterly revenues increased 9 percent to $3.6 billion, compared to $3.3 billion the year prior.

The firm is optimistic about Prolia, a potential osteoporosis drug currently seeking Food and Drug Administration approval before going to market.

“We are off to a good start in 2010 with solid first-quarter results,” Kevin Sharer, Amgen chairman and chief executive officer, said in an earnings release. “We are optimistic about Prolia in the U.S. and EU and will take appropriate steps to manage the impact of the new U.S. health care reform law.”

Worldwide sales of Amgen’s Aranesp anemia drug remained fairly steady throughout the first quarter at $627 million, but U.S. sales of the drug dropped 8 percent to $268 million. The firm said the decrease was driven in part by a decline in demand and a reduction in the drug’s price.

Sales of Epogen, another anemia treatment, increased 10 percent to $623 million in the first quarter, up from $565 million in 2009. The firm said demand for the drug increased as dosage sizes were upped and patient population grew.

Sales of Neulasta and Nuepogen, both treatments for chemotherapy patients, increased 10 percent. Sales of Enbrel, a rheumatoid arthritis treatment, increased 6 percent.

Amgen offered guidance for full-year earnings of $15.1 billion to $15.5 billion – towards the lower-end of a previously issued outlook. The firm said earnings per share for the year are expected in the $5.05 to $5.25 range. The firm anticipates an impact of $200 million to $250 million due to health care reform.

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